We were at some friends’ house when my two year old decided to walk down a set of stone and concrete steps that led to the driveway. Normally, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but he was wearing a too-big baseball glove on one hand (the wrong hand) and holding a chocolate-peanut-butter bar in the other (and you better believe he wasn’t giving that up).
I entreated him to walk in the grass, but he ignored me and kept marching down those steps. I let him go (Yes, I know, parenting fail. That’s a lesson for another time). As he approached the last step, another mom who was watching said, “I’m impressed that he can do that with his hands full.” I turned to look at her. “Yeah, he’s got really good balance for a toddler.”
That’s when I heard the crying.
He fell on the very last step, scraping his face just below his left eye.
He thought he could handle it. He thought he had it under control. He even had me and the other moms fooled into thinking he would be just fine. And yet, he fell. It was too much.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18, ESV).
Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we can handle more than we really can. We flirt with temptation rather than fleeing it, imagining that we’re somehow stronger than our fellow man. Or we load our plates with activities, projects, and goals, refusing to believe that our eyes might be bigger than our stomach.
“I’ve got this,” we think. “I can do it. I don’t need to slow down. I don’t need to ask for help. I don’t need to listen to others’ warnings. I certainly don’t need to let go of anything.” Because, after all, we know best, right?
And so we plow on, blind as clams, assuming we’re invincible. But God is not fooled. We would be wise to heed His warning in Proverbs that our pride may be exactly what leads to our fall. And the consequences may be worse than a scraped cheek.
If the Spirit so leads, let’s be willing to put down the baseball glove – or even the chocolate-peanut-butter bar – so we can make it to the end without falling.
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